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February 2011

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By The Creative Group

The job outlook for marketing and advertising professionals is expected to continue showing modest growth in the first quarter of 2011, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals. Twelve percent of marketing and advertising executives interviewed said they plan to increase staff levels in the next three months, while 8 percent anticipate declines. The resulting net 4 percent increase is up 1 point from last quarter.

The national study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews -- approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Marketing and advertising executives were asked, “Does your company or agency plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time marketing/advertising personnel on your staff during the first quarter of 2011?” Their responses:
Increase 12%
Decrease 8%
No change 80%
Marketing and Advertising Specialties in Demand
When executives were asked in which areas they plan to add staff, account services ranked first, with 16 percent of the response. Public relations and social media followed, each with 15 percent of the response. Despite high unemployment levels, more than half (52 percent) of executives surveyed said it's challenging for their firms to find skilled professionals.

“As we move into the new year, many companies and agencies are eager to pursue new business opportunities and expand their service offerings,” said DONNA FARRUGIA, Executive Director of The Creative Group. “Employers seek experienced professionals to help manage new accounts as well as build relationships with customers using social media and other marketing tools.”

Specialty Areas in Demand:
Account services 16%
Public relations 15%
Social media 15%
Interactive media 14%
Media services 13%
Brand/product management 13%
Web design/production 12%
Print design/production 12%
Creative/art direction 12%
Marketing research 9%
Copywriting 7%
Note: Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.
Perspectives on Business Growth and Retention

Marketing and advertising executives expressed continued confidence in their ability to attract new business: 93 percent said they were somewhat or very confident in their firm's prospects for growth in the first quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter. However, retention concerns are on the rise: Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said they are concerned about losing top marketing or advertising performers to other job opportunities in the next year, up 7 points from the last quarter.

More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group's award-winning career magazine, can be found at

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